Darren Cartwright, National Entertainment Writer
(Australian Associated Press)
Arrogance is a turn-off for the savvy investors on the Shark Tank.
The reality show’s newcomer Dr Glen Richards has warned that anyone with a “specialist surgeon” attitude need not apply.
Richards joins the second season of the Network Ten show, which returned on Sunday, following the departure of wealthy real estate agent John McGrath.
A qualified vet and founder and former chief executive of Greencross, Richards said the personality of the entrepreneur spruiking for investment was just as, if not more, important than the product itself.
“When we bumped into arrogance we backed off. When we found someone who knew it all, they were the ones we didn’t want to get involved with,” Richards told AAP.
“There was one particular entrepreneur who had a wonderful business that was starting to ramp beautifully and I looked him straight in the eyes and said ‘you remind me of a specialist surgeon or veterinarian, you are full of arrogance, you know everything and I just don’t think I’ll be able to mentor you’.”
Being able to mentor anyone started out being a problem in itself for Richards.
He struggled in the first week of shooting to convince budding entrepreneurs to let him on board.
They tended to lean towards first season Sharks, Steve Baxter (internet pioneer), Janine Allis (Boost Juice), Andrew Banks (The Vento Group) and Naomi Simson (RedBalloon).
The other four sharks were just too established from Richards’ point of view.
“What upset me the first week … they were actually pitching at the other four sharks because they had seen them in the first season,” he said.
“I thought I missed out on a couple of deals in the first week so when I fronted up the Monday of the second week, I said to the other sharks ‘don’t turn your back, I’ve got a new strategy.”
The change in tactics in pitching and selling himself to the entrepreneurs worked a treat.
“I reckon I got the best three deals in the second week,” he said.
But it also came at a much heavier cost than the volunteer RSPCA vet had budgeted for.
“After the first week I had already spent my budget,” he said.
“The number of good businesses that came through I doubled down. There was some good things happening so I decided to move forward.”
* Shark Tank airs Sundays at 9pm on Network Ten.